A Canberra woman who will be left homeless and destitute after caring for her elderly mother for three years says the Australian aged care system is broken.
Stirling-resident Heather Daniels, 50, said she moved in to her mother's house as a full-time carer in 2011 after the 76-year-old was told she needed regular kidney dialysis.
After a three years of care, her mother's condition has deteriorated and she is set to be moved into a nursing home leaving Ms Daniels without a home or a job.
"I don't have an income, except for my carer's pension which is $123 a fortnight plus the dole and because Mum hasn't been able to go to the bank I pay for all her medical stuff as well," she said.
Ms Daniels said their apartment would have to be sold, to pay for her mother's move, leaving her without a home.
"It's scary – I don't sleep at night," she said.
"I've got no support and I haven't got any friends here so it's really frightening. I don't know where I'll go and now I don't know what I'll do."
Ms Daniels said she had been given no choice but to look after her mother as private carers were too expensive.
Some cost up to $900 for 24 hours and the federal government would only offer 16 hours per week of nursing care.
"It [16 hours] isn't enough, you can't leave Mum on her own at night," she said.
"Why are you doing this if you don't want people to go into nursing homes?
"That's what geriatricians are saying, people should only be going into nursing homes when they're about to fall off the planet."
Ms Daniels said a small nursing home room could cost more than $500,000 and she was "scared shitless" of growing old in Australia.
"Unfortunately in our generation families don't support each other, we're all independent and the government needs to acknowledge that," she said.
"We still have to look after our elderly... what will happen to us?"
Council of the Aging housing options advisor Luke Coniston said the government needed to up its game and support carers and older people in the ACT.
"The difficulty in the ACT region is often that people are simply not informed about what services exist that they are entitled to access that would help them," he said.
A spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said there were about 860,000 carers nationwide who claimed income support from the government, costing taxpayers $8 billion.
"The higher the level of these payments, the fewer the carers the system will be able to support sustainably in the future," she said.
A spokeswoman for assistant social services minister Mitch Fifield said the government had increased the number of packages to help older Australians stay at home longer.
"If someone is dissatisfied with the home care provider's advice about the availability of the type of care under the package, they could discuss this directly with the home care provider as a first step," she said.